Tanbark Talks

Members of the global dairy industry are invited to start their mornings at World Dairy Expo with educational and insightful Tanbark Talks. This new opportunity to learn at Expo takes place in The Tanbark at 8 a.m.


Wednesday, September 29
Farming Forward Through Enhanced Innovation and Farm Profitability 

The last five years have been tumultuous for dairy farmers, yet the industry has continued its legacy of evolving, adapting to change and leading innovation. Meanwhile, Dairy Management Inc. (DMI), which manages the national dairy checkoff, has kept its focus on today and tomorrow in its quest to drive sales and trust in dairy. When it comes to anticipating the dairy industry of tomorrow, DMI and its farmer leadership enlisted some of the best business, innovation and technical minds across all industries to identify emerging trends that will and are transforming society and the marketplace. This unique, forward-thinking strategy uses research insights and forecasting to identify and envision possible future scenarios. The result has been the creation of a strategic roadmap to ensure that dairy remains relevant, valued and is designed for an exciting future. DMI’s session will kick off with keynote speaker Bob Johansen, an Army War College Consultant and author. Johansen will explore how every person and organization must operate in a VUCA World (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous). A panel discussion will follow Johansen’s comments that will dive more deeply into the checkoff’s strategy of envisioning a secure future for dairy farmers. The panelists and their areas of conversation focus are:

  • DMI CEO Tom Gallagher (“Driving dairy sales today – anticipating the future on behalf of America’s dairy farmers”)
  • DMI Chief Transformation Officer Dwyer Williams (“Creating inspiring new futures for U.S. dairy”)
  • Kinnard Farms CEO Lee Kinnard (“Demonstrating leadership in extreme resource efficiency and regeneration”)
  • National Milk Producers Federation Vice President of Economic Policy and Market Research Peter Vitaliano (“Contributing to connecting the urban rural communities of the future”)
  • DMI Senior Vice President of Strategic Intelligence Eve Pollet (“Becoming a full spectrum health provider”)

Thursday, September 30
U.S. Farm Report - LIVE

U.S. Farm Report host Tyne Morgan will host and film a one-hour session featuring a panel of experts, focused on markets, industry news and trends. Content captured during this Tanbark Talk will be broadcast on the U.S. Farm Report, to air the weekend of October 2-3. This Tanbark Talk if your chance to experience a live taping of a national TV program and learn from some of the best in the business. Panelists include Mike North, ever.ag, and Ben Laine, Rabo AgriFinance.


Friday, October 1
This Business Called Agriculture, presented by Damian Mason

Imagine a talk show host combined with an agricultural economist with a healthy dose of comedian… that’s Damian Mason. He will deliver a crisp, current ag outlook and insights presentation in a humorous manner. Through his public speaking, the two podcasts he hosts and the several books he has authored, Mason strives to spread accurate information and dispel missinfomration about the world’s most important industry: Agriculture. 

Raised on a dairy farm, and still owning and managing a 300-acre farm and timber land, Mason holds a degree in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University. He has spoken to agricultural companies that cover every space on the table – from corn to cranberries, cotton to cattle, canned food to canola.